Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation

Last month the Pentagon released its Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC) which assesses the effectiveness of military pay and benefits. Some of the biggest provisions of this year’s report recommend important changes in reserve retirement pay and benefits.

Some provisions to note:

  • Retirement - recommends allowing reservist with 20 years of creditable service to begin drawing a pension check 30 years after their initial service date. This would allow some to draw a check before the age of 50 – that is to say, if a member joined at age 19, they could retire at 39 and begin drawing retirement at age 49. Currently reservist have to wait till age 60 before they are allowed to draw retirement checks and benefits. 
  • Pay - recommends simplifying pay so that reservist on duty get the same regular military base pay that active-duty troops receive, regardless of their duty type – i.e. drill weekends, annual training or full mobilization. However, the recommendation to cut drill pay in half in order to equate drill day with one day of ‘Regular Military Compensation’ is off base. This reduction would reduce the number of retirement points from 3 to 2 for a drill weekend and the potential retirement pay arising from that service. Though there is discussion of the possibility of incentive pay options to bolster the recommendation to reduce drill pay, the report provides no clear recommendation or pay charts for easy understanding. The current drill pay structure is fair and much simpler in comparison. 
  • Housing - recommends establishing a Permanent Change of Assignment travel status for reserve component members, which would allow members to receive two housing allowances—one for their permanent residence and a second at the assignment duty location. 
  • Healthcare - recommends the department establish a program to provide TRICARE to reserve component members who are currently not eligible for a reserve TRICARE program, with the full cost of coverage paid by the member.
  • Education -  recommends amending the Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to treat similar service consistently by including all involuntary service performed by a member as qualifying service. The full report can be read here.  

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